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Dec 28, 2016 10:01 AM EST

University Motivates Students to Stop Smoking by Giving Free Food

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"Ciggy Butts," a mascot urging students to quit smoking, campaigned in the UC Berkeley campus in 2005
A university in Turkey is successfully motivating students to stop smoking - by giving away free meals to those who quit the habit.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

While various colleges in the U.S. set up food pantries to address the hunger problem many students currently face, a university in Turkey is offering free food to its students in exchange for one thing that will be good for them: stop smoking.

Amasya University in Turkey started a great program that not only encourages students to ditch smoking, but also helps them get better nutrition, reports the Daily Sabah. The program, which is made possible through a collaboration with chancellor Metin Orbay's initiatives and the university's Yeşilay (Green Crescent) club, has a holistic approach to solving the nicotine problem among students.

The project, which was announced on social media, informs students about the dangers of smoking through presentations, after which they are called on to stop the hazardous habit. Students appear to be receptive to the project.

Tarkan Güncü and Emre Ezgin, two students who agreed to the program after seeing it was good, are now working on quitting the dangerous habit. Along with other students, they are asked to go to the university hospital and approach physicians for help in quitting the habit.

Not only do they receive professional medical guidance, they also receive free food. According to the report, students who decide to quit smoking will receive free meals at the campus as a reward for their efforts. This runs for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Student Food Issues

This initiative is but one of the ways universities can undertake in addressing the health problems many college students have. In the U.S., it has been found that nearly half of all students who participated in a survey admit to facing issues with food security, and 22 percent of all respondents can actually be considered hungry.

Surprisingly, the students in the survey aren't broke at all, with a little more than half of them employed in different jobs. More than half of them are receiving federal grants.

Some U.S. colleges have responded to the matter by setting up food pantries. Turkey's Amasya University's initiative, however, is much more beneficial - it feeds students, and motivates them to cut a bad habit that is hazardous to their health.

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